JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Coronavirus has caused stress and personal pressure to soar. Whether it is concern for loved ones, pressure of a job loss or income reductions, or simply difficulty adjusting to what is ”the new normal”, either can affect driving ability to levels of aggressive and reckless driving.
So says, the MD of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert: “Whether you’re angry, sad or distracted “With such distraction you might perform manoeuvres you would not if you were calm. Some studies suggest driving while emotional can be even more dangerous than driving while using a cellphone. You can feel disconnected with the road and other road user which can incite volatile situations you will regret later.”
by your personal issues it can cause more reckless or aggressive driving.
”Your ability to think and reason properly is reduced, your ability to make sound decisions while driving affected. Ultimately, a negative emotional state is another form of distracted driving.
So, assess your emotional state before getting behind the steering-wheel.
“If you feel out of sorts then the ideal scenario would be not to drive until you feel better. We do not, however, live in an ideal world and sometimes you simply can’t wait to calm down so here are some tips to help you be a safer, better, driver.”
If you feel too upset to calm down and drive responsibly consider alternative transport.
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South Africans tend to be discourteous drivers so rather accept that if someone refuses to make way or cuts you off it is par for the course and do not get upset.
Leave with extra time to arrive at your destination so that you can take a leisurely drive and use the time to cool down rather than rushing and driving aggressively or recklessly.
‘PARK YOUR STRESS’
You should know what kind of behaviour by other drivers may irritate you; if you encounter this trigger avoid or not react. Listen to music, drive slower than normal.
South Africans, Herbert warns, are facing a very stressful and uncertain time. It’s normal to have additional stress or to react more emotionally to situations – but never take that reaction into traffic.”